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When Wanderers Cease to Roam: A Traveler's Journal of Staying Put Hardcover – October 28, 2008

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Vivian Swift is a freelance writer and former assistant vice president of Christie's Inc. This is her first book.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury USA; First Edition (states and 1 in number line) edition (October 28, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1596914610
  • ISBN-13: 978-1596914612
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 0.9 x 9.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (71 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #122,489 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

44 of 45 people found the following review helpful By BermudaOnion VINE VOICE on November 21, 2008
Format: Hardcover
Vivian Swift has led an interesting, nomadic life. After living in 23 different places in 20 years, she decided to stay put in a small village on Long Island Sound. When Wanderers Cease to Roam: A Traveler's Journal of Staying Put is so much more than her journal for a year of "staying put." This is one of those books that is hard to categorize or describe. Yes, it is a journal, but it also tells of Vivian's past (she's kept a journal since she was 19.) There are some tidbits of news from the local village and some delightful quotes. There are also some interesting facts about things like the teacup handle and why we start our year with January. And, oh, the illustrations! Some of that may sound dull, but this book is anything but!

I adored this book. The drawings are beautiful and I found myself poring over every detail in them. The best thing about this book, though, is the fact that it reminds us to take delight in and be thankful for the small, everyday things in life - things like a bird's feather, an animal's tracks in the snow, or a shady spot in the summer. This book was published by Bloomsbury on October 28.
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36 of 36 people found the following review helpful By G. Dawson on December 24, 2008
Format: Hardcover
This remarkable book is very difficult to explain. On the back cover, author Vivian Swift calls it an "illustrated chronicle," but that descriptor suggests a story or at least a loose stringing together of related events. Rather than a "chronicle," When Wanderers Cease to Roam is more of a seasonal collage. The book progresses month by month through Swift's life in a small village on the Long Island Sound and is stuffed full of the author's watercolor paintings, drawings, and related musings. Swift hand lettered the entire book, including the front page with the publishing information and the ISBN numbers. I haven't come across anything so carefully crafted in a long time.

In January, we are treated to watercolors of snowy country scenes and pen-and-ink drawings of snowmen and winter gulls in various poses. There's also a mini-memoir describing five of Swift's notable past birthdays, including: "Celebrating at the King David Hotel (built in 1931) in Jerusalem (founded in 2000 BCE) where the tomates provencals are unforgettable and I have no idea that my soldier dining companion will become my first husband. I am 30." February is a homage to travel while May focuses on gardens and gardening. Some of the book's most beautiful watercolors are of the night sky in July.

When Wanderers Cease to Roam won't appeal to everyone. It's slightly cutesy in places and contains plenty of cats and tea cups. Although I usually abhor such books, I was utterly charmed by this one. Judging by the glowing reviews this book is receiving, I'm not alone.
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30 of 30 people found the following review helpful By Book Lover & Artist on December 4, 2008
Format: Hardcover
This book was highly recommended on a blog I frequent. When I came to Amazon and checked it out, I was immediately entranced by the author's charming watercolors.

I ordered the book, and I was thrilled to discover that it was EVEN MORE BEAUTIFUL and MORE INTERESTING than I had anticipated. I find myself continually admiring her use of line and color.

What I had not expected was her witty writing style. I frequently chuckle and even laugh outloud. This book is so special that I will only let myself pour over it for short bits of time...as I do with all of my favorite books...trying to make them last as long as possible.

If you like a simpler, colorful illustrative style of art, this book is for you.

If you love transparent watercolors, this book is for you.

If you love nature, this book is for you.

If you love reading witty writing that sheds new light on your own life, this book is for you.

If you want to reflect on the rhythm of seasons throughout the year, this book is for you.

If you want a book to savor, this book is for you.
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29 of 31 people found the following review helpful By Amazon junkie on November 6, 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I loved this book. It's absolutely charming - both in the writing and in the artwork (which the author also did). She has a way of writing about common every-day things in a way that makes you look at them differently. I know that sounds like a cliche, but it's really true. For instance, she has a page on mud. Yes, mud. And, believe it or not, after reading that page, I was fascinated by mud and the different kinds of mud. I wouldn't have believed that to be possible. Whenever I'm someone's houseguest, I always bring a gift for my host/hostess. I used to bring candles or baked goods. But now I'm going to give copies of this book.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Redlady on August 27, 2009
Format: Hardcover
This was a charming and quirky book to read. It's part journal, part memoir and diary. It's very unique in style, filled with beautiful watercolor drawings created by the author. It's formatted by months of the year with stories and experiences and drawings that correlate to each of the 12 months of the year. Ms. Swift spent years traveling the world from the age of 19 to 39 and then she discovered the Long Island Sound and set roots there for 10 years living in a small village. I enjoyed the town newsletter clippings that shared small town events and news and the items that Ms. Swift found around the village. One one page is a set of all of the colored children's mittens she found. On another is a mish-mosh of various items including foreign coins. She shares favorite clothes ,old and new, and where she has worn them and her stories behind them. There are even a few recipes included along the way. There are beautiful sketches and drawings related to the seasons and for the winter there is a set of drawings of a snowman's activities. She intertwines stories and experiences related to her travels and life experiences along the way. You can read it month by month or just browse through the pictures or read the whole book as I did.
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